CULTURE

The Greek presidency wears its hospitable smile for EU partners

The Greek presidency of the European Union, which has coincided with the war in Iraq and the heated climate between Europe and the US, may finally be able to launch a period of unity and creativity now that the hostilities are ending. For two days, Athens will be able to put on a smiling face as it plays host to the leaders of the European Union’s other 14 member states and those of the 10 countries who will come to Athens to sign their countries’ accession treaties. On Wednesday, April 16, the official signing of the 10 new members’ treaties will take place in the ancient Stoa of Attalos, under the Acropolis. The next day, April 17, the EU summit meeting will take place in the Zappeion Hall. Already the flags of all member states are waving in the April breeze outside the Zappeion, and the Stoa of Attalos has been spruced up. Two new offices have been set up there – one for Prime Minister Costas Simitis – and the ancient statues given a shine. Let us hope that our European family will always be as bright. United we stand!